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Divorce can be challenging for many reasons and can quickly become complicated whenever it includes factors like children, debt, courts, and uncooperative spouses. In many cases, the courts will encourage any divorce cases to make an attempt to work together – not only does this make the process easier on the courts, but it also simplifies things for the couple going through the divorce. Collaborative divorce is a great option for exploring the negotiation of terms during your divorce.

What is collaborative divorce?

Before you know if collaborative divorce is best for your situation, it’s crucial to understand what this type of divorce entails. Collaborative divorce is a legal process where a couple is allowed to negotiate every term of the divorce, like property, debt, and child-related custody or support. All agreements are reached using mediation and negotiation alongside a collaborative divorce team. This team is composed of a collaborative divorce lawyer, divorce coach, financial specialist, and possibly even a child specialist. 

How does collaborative divorce work?

This type of divorce works best whenever both parties are willing to negotiate all terms and work together to reach a respectful resolution. Once you’re certain that this is the correct route, each spouse will hire a divorce and family law attorney who specializes in collaborative divorce. Your divorce lawyer’s role is to ensure your desires are met rather than leave it to the opinion of an outside party.

Frequent meetings will occur with your attorney to guarantee they understand everything you want from your divorce. There, you will discuss how you’d like to separate assets and how to divide debt while also covering any issues involving custody. Your attorney will check in frequently throughout the divorce to reassess your wants and needs.

If a party is not transparent during a collaborative divorce, then the divorce can be revisited where settlements can be reallocated. It’s crucial to note that this type of divorce only works if both parties are cooperative and honest during the separation. 

After settling, the lawyers will draft a settlement agreement. This agreement contains all the terms you and your spouse agreed upon throughout the divorce; once a judge signs it, you are considered legally divorced.

A man and a woman’s hands folded on top of a divorce settlement located on a table. Along with their hands are their wedding rings and a pen on top of the signed paper.

What are the benefits of collaborative divorce?

The benefits of collaborative divorce are ample if it is deemed suitable for your situation. First of all, it is considerably more cost-effective than traditional routes. Couples who choose this method often cut costs since their lawyers do not have to appear in court, which is usually an extra fee. Additionally, your divorce remains private, meaning all the details stay out of the courtroom and only between yourselves and the lawyers. Finally, all parties have much more control whenever they opt to have a collaborative divorce. The relationship with your ex can remain harmonious and your children are less likely to be disrupted by the process.

Is collaborative divorce right for you?

The truth is, collaborative divorce isn’t suitable for every divorce – it’s most effective with couples who are willing to work together to reach an agreement they both see fit. Many factors indicate that this type of divorce would not be ideal for some couples – for example, if a history of domestic violence exists, communication is poor, or the lawyer advises against this option.

The team at the Law Office of Nikki Hudman is here to help you navigate separation. Texas is a state that requires couples to pursue collaborative divorce as often as possible. While we strive to encourage all clients to commit to making that personal attempt, we also understand that some couples will not benefit from this option. You can always call us at (512) 827-8529 or fill out the email form to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.